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Thread: Football Outsiders Almanac - Cardinals Nugget/Question

  1. #1

    Football Outsiders Almanac - Cardinals Nugget/Question

    I think a lot of people on this side respect the work of Aaron Schatz and his crew from Football Outsiders. The Football Outsiders Almanac is a must-read every year, and I thought it would be interesting to post something from each of the teams' chapters on this forum and get some conversation going. Out of respect to Football Outsiders, I won't post here what their projected record or playoff percentages are, but just an interesting tidbit from the team's chapter to see what their fans think.

    So, for the Arizona Cardinals:

    A lot of the discussion about the Cardinals this offseason has been about the transition at quarterback from Kurt Warner to either Matt Leinart or Derek Anderson, and the loss of Anquan Boldin at wide receiver. But, the Cardinals defense is also going through a significant transition - losing 37.5% of their games started from a year ago.

    The specific losses:
    Karlos Dansby (to Miami)
    Antrel Rolle (to the Giants)
    Bertrand Berry (retirement)
    Chike Okeafor (likely retirement)
    Bryant McFadden (traded to Pittsburgh)

    As a Packer fan, of course, Dansby broke my heart last season in overtime in the playoffs.

    How will the Cardinals withstand the changes on their defense?

  2. #2
    as a longtime fan it hurt me to see all these players go (except mcfadden because he was truly terrible, he never played the ball and always just looked at the receiver) but at the same time it is part of a long term franchise's success to be able to handle transitions like these and i think the cards are set up to do so. Berry and okeafor were both far past their prime and it will be nice to see some young lbs like cody brown and will davis fill their places. While i do think dansby and rolle will be missed initially and were large playmakers in last years defense, i really think the organization made the right move in letting them go. They received contracts far above their value with the exception possibly of dansby who i think really made the defense work. At the same time he was never a true difference maker in my mind rather just a very good football player and i dont know if hes really worth the money miami is giving him. Daryl washington is also a great prospect and young lbs often transition better than other positions their first year. Rolle is the similar but anyone who really thinks he deserves that kind of money is crazy, he is an above average safety at best and while he is still growing into the position he still makes serious gambles frequently and was not good at being a true safety, rolles play was never consistent it was too hit or miss much like the cards entire defense who could be fantastic one week and then get 50+ points dropped on them the next. Rolle will have success in ny, their pass rush just creates too many good opportunites for a ballhawk like him but i dont think he is worth that type of money in arizona's system. Also rhodes is equal to if not greater than in talent in my opinion and was an all pro player and is truer coverage safety which pairs great with a run stopper like wilson. The real strength of the cardinals d this year will be the line as it may emerge to be one of the most talented 3-4 dlines in the nfl. Joey porter should benefit from this but the real benefit to his signing is the hopeful influence he will have on young players like cody brown who could be the future of the cards pass rush. Toler will be a better corner than mcfadden in my mind, the real blow with losing mcfadden was his strength as a tackler and as an intelligent veteran. Still every time i watched him in single coverage he was being beat and teams made a point of trying to exploit especially as drc emerged as a probowl caliber corner. Toler has the physical tools to be a good corner and i think he will fare far better in single coverage situations than mcfadden did. Again with a strong dline hopefully opening lanes for olb pass rushers, the corners jobs will be much easier and i think that will make the cardinals defense actually better than last years (small improvement especially against the past but still) despite all the turnover.

  3. #3
    iwantpizza - your assessment is spot on. While I too am sad to see some of these players leave, I am glad that the organization is maturing from a personnel management standpoint. Great organizations figure out a way to replenish talent and find players for their system. Over the past few years, the Cards have dedicated themselves more to this approach - for the first time since they moved to AZ.

    I completely agree with football outsiders on this point as well. Much is made of the QB transition, but the Defense is the secret key to this season. I have said it before in this forum- the offense will not be potent enough to overcome large deficits. Not only does this defense need to achieve their 2009 levels, they need to overachieve in 2010. Without a stingy and consistent defense, they will not be competitive. For our sake, I hope that the front line is supernatural and that the secondary is not as porous as it was at times last year.

    Great points all around. I especially sympathize with the frustration that accompanies the Cardinals' defensive inconsistencies.

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